Sci Fi keeps fight going with 'Battlestar' prequel

Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:30pm EDT
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" will live on with "Caprica." At its "upfront" presentation to advertisers Tuesday in New York, the cable channel said that it has green-lighted a two-hour pilot for the prequel, which had been in development for two years.

Sci Fi also has given the go-ahead to "True Believer," a two-hour back-door pilot created by Rosario Dawson and David Atchinson -- who co-wrote the comic book series "Occult Crimes Task Force" -- about a comic book enthusiast who hires a former superhero to teach him about crime-fighting. It joins "The Stranded," a two-hour pilot of a Sci Fi/Virgin Comics joint venture.

The network also plans an "Alice in Wonderland"-based six-hour miniseries titled "Alice." A two-hour comedy-drama pilot, "Deputized," follows a man who fights crime around the galaxy after getting super powers.

"Caprica," which is set 50 years before the events in the departing "Battlestar," will begin production in the spring. It hails from the "Battlestar" masterminds Ronald D. Moore and David Eick.

As for "Battlestar," the series' final-season premiere will debut online nine hours before it airs on TV.

Sci Fi's reality slate includes "Estate of Panic," a series about seven people who compete to find millions of dollars at an estate, and "Brain Trust," in which geniuses bands together to solve problems. The channel also announced new seasons of "Scare Tactics," now hosted by "30 Rock's" Tracy Morgan; "Mind Control With Derren Brown"; and "Ghost Hunters International." And a May 18 special by NBC News correspondent Lester Holt will feature "Mystery of the Crystal Skulls," about the real-life search for what the objects at the center of the latest "Indiana Jones" movie.

The channel also will expand its digital offerings with a game site launching in mid-April as well as "Battlestar" webisodes and a social game based on the show. An original Web series, "Starcrossed," is planned to debut in the fourth quarter.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter